Archaeological Finds Continue at Ballymore Development

Roman pots and a skeleton in a sarcophagus among the recent discoveries

The dig has revealed was dating to the 18th and 19th centuries. Picture: MOLA


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March 3, 2023

Archaeologists working at the site of the Brentford Project development are continuing to discover more about the area’s past.

A recent report by Museum of London Archaeology has detailed a number of significant finds including Roman graves, pots and evidence of an extensive Roman field system in the area. One of the graves is of a skeleton in a sarcophagus and close by was found an earth cut grave with a smaller grave beside it believed to have been dug for a baby.

The report states, "Excavations found a possible prehistoric paleochannel through the southern part of the site, although only the northern edge of the channel was exposed. The site revealed evidence of Roman occupation, including an extensive Roman field system(s).

"Two Roman inhumations were found in Block B. Both were earth-cut graves containing female individuals who died in adulthood. One was buried in a large limestone sarcophagus and the other had possibly disturbed an earlier cremation burial. These burials were similarly orientated/aligned with nearby ditch systems and may have been contained within the remains of a small cemetery plot, possibly for a high-status family or kin group.

"Three distinct areas of clustered with stakes hole and/or post hole may offer some tentative evidence of very rudimentary late Roman or early medieval timber buildings and/or fence structures. Later medieval features may include an undated hearth, which could relate to a series of hearths dating to between the 12th and 13th centuries with associated stake holes found to the east in Block D. Other medieval features were mostly confined to isolated pits and residual pottery found within the fills of later cut features.”

The skeleton in a sarcophagus (left) and the earth cut grave with the hole next to it believed to have been for a baby
The skeleton in a sarcophagus (left) and the earth cut grave with the hole next to it believed to have been for a baby (right). Picture: MOLA

Most of the finds at the site are from the post-medieval period including a late 16th to 17th century brick building in the north-east corner of Block B, as well as several 17th-century cess and rubbish pits. Brick walls, floor surfaces and drains were found associated with 18th and 19th century development, representing at least 13 buildings across the site which suggested the area had a focus on light industry.

Two Roman pots found recently at the site. Picture: MOLA

The continued finds confirm that human occupation has taken place in Brentford from pre-historical times and that Brentford was a significant population centre during the Roman period as it on the main route out of London west to Bath.

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